No Time or Money to Travel? 12 Fun Ways to Learn Spanish Online Free


If you’re like millions of other Americans, you’re somewhat interested in learning Spanish, maybe have even taken a class or two in your day, but can’t really do much with it, let alone hold a conversation with native speakers. You’ve spent some money on language software or books but haven’t gotten through much of it.

The reason for this is because most of the common ways of learning a language just aren’t fun. Above all, learning a language should be a lot of fun, and if you aren’t enjoying it, you won’t get very farĀ DAB Radio Spain.

The number one way to have fun and learn is to live abroad for a while, or at least take an immersion language learning trip. But if you don’t have the money or time to do that yet, you are in luck that you can at least get started for when you do travel (What, you aren’t packing yet?). The Internet is absolutely chock full of free, entertaining ways to jump start your language learning. It doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner with just a few words, like hola, under your belt.

Here are ideas that can get you “virtually” immersed in the moments when you can’t physically immerse myself in another country. Remember, pick a few ideas from the list below that you like and don’t get discouraged. It doesn’t matter if you are just a beginner or whether you are intermediate or advanced in Spanish. These ideas are useful for learners at all levels.

    1. Free Online Radios. Very cool. There are several big companies offering free radio now, and most of them offer artist bios and stories, plus links to similar music that can keep you going in loops for hours. Type in any artist or genre and find the lyrics online to follow along. Bookmark the artists you like and find similar songs and artists by browsing. Try some traditionally Latino genres like vallenatos or bachatas or you can try Latino Rock. You can also find local radio stations from all over the world that stream for free online by searching for:radio escuchar en vivo.


    1. Blogs. Learn from people who actually learned to speak Spanish or whatever language you are interested in, not just the sites selling you their software. Blogs dealing with immersion language learning usually offer a wealth of free information about how they succeeded in learning or becoming fluent. Because these people have had so much fun learning a language, they have a ton of interesting stories and give you really specific tips for free about how you can do it. It’s like your own personal consultant or book without having to pay for it. These sites usually have community discussion groups and free newsletters, video or audio tutorials, games and learning programs, e-books, and links to other great online resources. Try searching for “immersion language learning Spanish,” “why study abroad,” or Spanish plus the word “blog” and start exploring. You can also browse blog directories and find sites of interest that way.


    1. Online video sites. You can find just about anything on YouTube, Yahoo videos, and other similar sites. There are tons of videos that are in Spanish but have English subtitles. You can often find your favorite show, movie, or cartoon. Cartoons are great because a lot of times you can follow the plot very easily and pick up isolated words here and there more easily than in movies. Try to find a clip of some of your favorite scenes but with Spanish audio or subtitles. Get a little creative with your searches. Also, you can look for interviews and commercials with Latino or Spanish actors and actresses in their native language or dubbed or subtitled versions of programs you like. If they are international superstars, their Spanish interviews can often be found with English subtitles. If you are a beginner, audio in Spanish with English subtitles should be the goal. If you are an intermediate or advanced learner, you should be looking for Spanish audio with Spanish subtitles, so try searching for shows you like and adding “en espanol.” Remember, the goal isn’t to understand everything, or even 2% if you aren’t there yet. Try to catch a single word that is repeated frequently and start building your vocabulary. Eventually you will want that foundation when you do have time or money to travel (Looking at maps yet?).


    1. Online Pen Pals. Or should we start calling them text pals? You are probably already on some of the social media sites, and maybe you even have a bunch of friends. The beauty of social networking is that you can connect to people all over the world. Search for friends from countries you are interested in and send them a message. It’s free, and a lot of people might be interested in being pen pals. There are even sites dedicated completely to international pen pals and offer their services for free. Once you get a little better at writing, you can begin instant messaging (also free).


  1. Web Chat. And if you are at the stage where you can speak a bit, ask your pen pal to do free video chat through your social media site, instant messaging service, or free computer-to-computer calling service. There are tons out there so just search for them and pick the one you like.